Islamist rebels in France, Terrorists in Mali, Moderate Opposition in Syria

Islamist rebels for France: Terrorists in Mali, friends in Syria


Islamist rebels for France: Terrorists in Mali, friends in Syria!
While France finds itself committed to intervene in Mali TO PROTECT THE STATE against the Islamist fighters related to Al-Qaeda (WOW), it considers the same guys, the jihadists who are shouting Allah Akbar and fighting the “infidel regime” in Syria as “rebels for freedom and democracy”! No problem, for France, if they are actually destroying the Syrian state, destroying the infrastructure of electricity power units, fuel pipelines, schools, ATM, police departments and all governmental institutions!

While France believes it’s a duty to send helicopters and air forces to bombard the Islamist militants in Mali, it accuse Syrian army to be “committing a brutal aggression” when it’s defending the state on its land!

We Syrians don’t ask France to help us fighting those extremist gangs that are destroying our country, but we just tell the French politicians to “f*** off” and stop dropping crocodile’s tears on Syrian people that is living now a crisis of electricity, gas and diesel thanks to those “rebels for freedom and democracy” who seem to believe that even electricity and schools belong to the “regime”! As well as thanking the EU that has organized many conferences of “the friends of Syrian people” and each time comes out with an AMAZING way of support to Syrian people: To stress the sanctions!
Whenever we run out of electricity, fuel, diesel, food and bread we remember our “friends of Syrian people” and feel, you can’t imagine how much, we feel grateful for those dear friends!
With such friends, we don’t need any more enemies!
One may say: “France is not supporting jihadists in Syria, it’s just supporting the “rebels” who are fighting for freedom and democracy” and this is why its president Francois Hollande has received Muaz Al-Khatib, the head of the so-called Syrian Opposition National coalition, that has been established in Doha with the presence of the American ambassador to Syria Robert Ford and the prince of Qatar, in his palace in Paris and recognized it as “The legitimate representative of Syrian people.” Well one can know the nature of the those rebels in Syria when you know that Muaz Al-Khatib, that is supposed to be a politician struggling for democracy, was very disappointed with the U.S decision to blacklist “Jabhat Al-Nusra” that is related to Al-Qaeda and is the key military force fighting Syrian army in Syria. Muaz Al-Khatib, in his speech at the Friends of Syria meeting in Marrakesh – Morocco on 12-12-2012, said:
“The decision to blacklist one of the groups fighting the regime as a terrorist organization must be re-examined!”
The Voice of Russia :

In Afghanistan, the US Is Accused of Backing Both Sides

Afghanistan and Pakistan are both U.S. allies, but the latter is accused of destabilizing the former with U.S. help.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani gave a blistering speech on April 25 to a rare joint session of parliament, accusing Pakistan’s government of aiding and abetting Afghan Taliban officials in Peshawar and Quetta.

“Today, I want to make it clear that we do not expect Pakistan to bring the Taliban to the peace talks,” Ghani exclaimed. “The time for an unjustifiable amnesty is over.”

Ghani’s threatening words were well-received by frustrated parliamentarians, coming just days after the Taliban managed to drive a minibus packed with explosives into the vicinity of the Ministry of Defense—right next to one of Afghanistan’s most important buildings: Afghanistan’s Intelligence service, the National Directorate of Security, or NDS.

The car bombing and subsequent firefight killed up to 60 people and wounded nearly 400. The majority of the casualties were civilians, including women and children. Windows were blown out miles away, including at the Ministry of Defense, and the Presidential Palace was forced to go into lockdown.

Within hours of the attack, Ashraf Ghani and his team set to Twitter to express outrage over the attacks and share photos of Ghani with survivors at the hospital. The president declared: “This attack shows the weakness of the Taliban.” But how does attacking a high-value target such as the NDS and making the presidential palace go into a lockdown make one weak?

This past winter in Kabul alone, the Taliban managed to attack the Spanish embassy; they attacked an upscale French restaurant that catered to foreigners and the Afghan elite; they bombed Kabul International Airport—twice in the same day; they hit the Italian embassy with two rockets; and in probably the most shocking episode, carried out a suicide car bomb attack against Tolo TV.

It makes calling the current “Spring Offensive” a misnomer. There has never been a break in the violence.

The Taliban’s “Spring Offensive”

Quadrilateral peace talks between Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States were set to resume in March, but a week before talks could begin the Taliban released a statement stressing that several demands be met before talks could be held.

“We want to repeat our stance once again,” the insurgent group declared, “that until the occupation of foreign troops ends, until Taliban names are removed from international blacklists, and until our detainees are released, talks will yield no results.”

Within a month the Taliban launched their annual “Spring Offensive,” achieving a near takeover of Kunduz, the nation’s fifth-largest city—something the Taliban temporarily accomplished only seven months prior.

Although the ANA (Afghan National Army), working in concert with other Afghan security apparatuses, were able to repel these recent attacks quicker than what happened during last years takeover, the Taliban have again proved whether materially of simply symbolically that “security” in Afghanistan is an illusion and the Afghan central government can not bring “safety” to its citizens.

The growth and strength of the Taliban makes the United States’ continued mission in Afghanistan confusing. The U.S. military has stated time after time that, “Afghans must take the lead in the fight against Taliban forces.” However, when Afghans see that the Taliban are able to fight elongated battles and take over large swaths of land while at the same time hitting high-value targets in areas deemed safe—especially within Kabul’s supposed “Green Zone”—it makes them wonder why the world’s greatest superpower is stuck in a stalemate with a group believed to be on its death bed by the end of 2002.

Is it that the U.S. does not have the willpower to fight sustained guerrilla warfare? Does the U.S. lack the military know-how? There is even the possibility that “defeating” the Taliban is not part of the U.S. policy regarding Afghanistan at all.

A Possible Comeback?

President Ghani’s fiery speech at parliament was welcomed by Afghan parliamentarians, a rare moment for a president who came into the Afghan presidential elections an underdog. Similar to the campaign of Barack Obama, Ghani sold Afghans citizens a new and fresh way forward— promises were made and “hope and change” was on its way.

Within a year’s time that support disappeared, making Ghani a mostly weak political figure, seen to be echoing Western leaders while chastising his own Afghan population, especially with Ghani’s embrace of the EU’s hardline anti-refugee sentiment whom Ghani himself infamously said he has “no sympathy” for.

President Ghani however, did made his message clear at the joint session. “It is our expectation that if Pakistan is unable to take action against them (the Taliban)….then they should be handed over to our Islamic courts so they are tried and punished for their crimes,” he said. Ghani went even further and threatened to lodge these complaints with the United Nations Security Council, another claim that was met with enthusiasm by lawmakers.

But is the blame being directed where it should be?

Word on the Street

Ask an average citizen of Afghanistan, “Who is funding and facilitating the Taliban?” and 9 out of 10 will tell you that it is the Pakistanis and their intelligence service, the ISI. This widely held belief isn’t just a theory shared through gossip on the streets, but the theory of choice among those who would know: former Mujahideen.

In conversations with multiple ex-Mujahideen leaders this question was also posed and the answers remained the same: that the Pakistani government is aiding and facilitating Afghan Taliban commanders with the planning and orchestrating of attacks to further destabilize neighboring Afghanistan.

When pressed on how they knew or could prove this allegation of ISI and Pakistani state involvement, former Mujahideen repeated the same thing: that they were also trained and supplied by these same people- the ISI and Pakistani state during the Jihad against the Soviet occupation.

Misdirected Blame?

The blame currently being directed at Pakistan is valid and necessary. Pakistan for far too long has been able to deflect the allegations being made that the government is aiding Taliban fighters—an allegation being made by most of Afghan society—are well documented.

One particular embarrassing point of reference is a tweet by Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid, who made the mistake of tweeting without turning off his GPS locator, which placed Mujaihid somewhere near Sindh, Pakistan.

There’s a strange disconnect, though, when it comes to how all of this could possibly be orchestrated by Pakistan, a country that is facing its own political turmoil, wanton violence and a failing economy.

In February 2016, the Times of India reported that U.S. President Barack Obama had proposed nearly US$900 million in aid packages, some to help “stabilize” Pakistan’s economy, but that US$300 million would go specifically for counter-insurgency measures meant to disrupt Al-Qaida and other “extremist elements” functioning inside Pakistan’s borders.

Just this past month, however, a damning US cable was declassified through freedom of information requests by a private research group. According to The Guardian, the heavily redacted cable claims the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate (ISI), Pakistan’s top military spy agency, facilitated an attack with US$200,000 paid to the Haqqani Network, an insurgent group allied to the Afghan Taliban. That payment was made following a meeting with two Haqqani representatives, directly implicating Pakistan as having a role in a major attack inside Afghanistan that killed seven CIA agents, the deadliest day in CIA history.

Here is where the confusion of U.S. interests in the region lie: How, on the one hand, can the U.S. and NATO occupy a country for over 15 years, maintaining that they will stand with the Afghan Unity Government to ensure its success, while at the same time the U.S. continues funding and supplying those who are known to be bolstering the armed opposition in Afghanistan?

In talks with former Mujahideen in the eastern city of Jalalabad about the role of Pakistan in the destabilization of Afghanistan these very questions were brought up: If we know the Taliban is being funded, equipped and trained by Pakistan’s ISI, Just like in the past with the Mujahideen, where are the Pakistanis getting their arms, supplies and weapons? Without hesitation the reply from a former Mujahideen fighter was: “We got our training in the mountains on the border regions between Afghanistan and Pakistan. It was well known much of the support was coming from Pakistani intelligence, they were even present in the refugee camps. And we were certain those arms and supplies were coming from the U.S., the CIA in particular.”

Just More Rhetoric?

President Ashraf Ghani finds himself at a pivotal moment, having gained some sympathy and political capital for his strong statements made during his speech, but he will need to spend that capital quickly and wisely to regain even a fraction of the support he once held.

It has yet to be seen whether or not Ghani will follow through with the threats he’s made against Pakistan and the Taliban, but what is clear is Ghani is either not willing or unable to go “all the way” and get to the root of the problems that Afghanistan is facing—and that’s the United States impunitive involvement in the country, the number one recruitment tool for the Taliban.

Mohammed Harun Arsali is a writer based in Afghanistan. Follow him on Twitter: @ArsalaiH

Mohsin Khan Mohammed is an independent journalist based in Afghanistan.

Former Pak PM Gilani’s Son Allegedly Rescued In Afghanistan From AQIS, al-Qaeda Indian Subcontinent

[SEE:  Haider Gilani in custody of Indian al-Qaeda]

Islamabad: The son of Pakistan’s ex-prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was on Tuesday rescued from the clutches of Taliban in a joint operation by the US and Afghan forces in Afghanistan, three years after he was abducted from his hometown in Pakistan’s Punjab province.

Ali Haider Gilani “has been recovered today in a joint operation carried out by the Afghan and US security forces in Ghazni, Afghanistan,” Pakistan’s foreign office said in a statement.

Afghan National Security Advisor Mohammad Hanif Atmar informed Sartaj Aziz, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, about the news in a telephone call, it said.

“Ali Haider Geelani’s transfer to Pakistan is being arranged following required medical check-up,” it said.

This development comes two months after the kidnapped son of slain Punjabi governor Salman Taseer was rescued by Pakistani forces in an operation near Quetta.

The news of the rescue of Haider, believed to be in his 30s, was broken by Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Twitter.

“(former) PM Gilani received a call from ambassador of Afghanistan. His son Ali Haider Gilani has been recovered in a successful operation,” Bilawal said.

Haider, whose father’s secular anti-Taliban Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has led several major offensives against militants, was kidnapped by gunmen in Multan in 2013 just two days before the 11 May general elections in which he was contesting.

He was leaving a street corner meeting outside the house of a supporter in Farrukh Town in his hometown of Multan in southern Afghanistan when the gunmen killed his two associates and abducted him.

“Haider was in the custody of Al-Qaeda. He has been recovered during an operation of special forces,” reports here quoted an Afghan ambassador as saying.

He said Haider is in good health and he will be sent home through a special plane.

“Foreign affairs advisor Sartaj Aziz has told me about the recovery of my brother,” Abdul Qadir Gilani said.

“My whole family and I are extremely happy to hear good news of safe recovery of Haider,” he said.

A large number of PPP workers gathered outside the residence of Gilani in Multan to celebrate Haider’s release.

The former premier had last year said that the abductors had contacted him and demanded ransom for his release. In a video message last year, Haider said the kidnappers were initially demanding Rs 2 billion for his release but later they had reduced the ransom amount to Rs 500 million.

His father had said he was ready to pay the ransom amount.

Shahbaz Taseer, who was abducted in August, 2011 some seven months after his father was killed by his own police guard Mumtaz Qadri, was recovered from Balochistan’s Kuchlak area after nearly five years. Qadri was hanged a couple of months ago at Adiala Jail Rawalpindi after President Mamnoom Hussain rejected his mercy plea.